Noncoercive Discipline and Logical and Natural Consequences

Imposed consequences for discipline—whether they are referred to as “logical” and/or “natural”—are basically punishments, eventhough they may be  “punishment light.”  The reason is that these discipline approaches are imposed.

Discipline Without Stress works with young people. This is in contrast to consequences that does things to them. It makes no difference if the intention is to teach a lesson; imposed punishments increase the likelihood that the person will feel punished.

Any form of punishment where something is done to another person prompts negative feelings, resentment, and resistance.

“Discipline Without Stress” elicits consequences and, therefore, avoids these problems typically associated with punishment. The reason is that young people do not feel like victims when they have designed their own consequence and have been guided to focus on learning from the misbehavior—rather than by being punished for it.

By imposing a logical or natural consequence, the responsibility for thinking about the nature of the consequence falls to the adult, rather than upon the young person. The youngster (as opposed to the teacher) should be the ones required to do the most thinking in discipline situations.

Adults will be more effective when they ask the student to generate a suitable consequence. By eliciting, rather than imposing a consequence, the young person owns the decision. People do not argue with their own decisions and, therefore, do not think in terms of this discipline approach as punishment.